Fire at Saudi Arabia oil facility after drone attack

March 30, 2021

The Chronicle

Saudi Arabia said drones struck an oil facility in the capital of Riyadh yesterday, igniting a fire at the installation.

The official Saudi Press Agency quoted an official in the energy ministry as saying the dawn attack caused no injuries or damage, and did not affect oil supplies.

“The Riyadh oil refinery was attacked by drones, resulting in a fire that has been brought under control,” the ministry said in a statement.

It called on the world to stand against what the ministry described as “these terrorist and subversive aggressions and those carrying them out or supporting them”.

Earlier yesterday, Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi rebels reported they launched six drones at a facility belonging to Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s oil giant that now has a sliver of its worth traded publicly on the stock market, in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia condemned the attack saying the assault targeted “the security and stability of the world’s energy supplies”.

Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment but said it would do so “at the earliest opportunity”.

Authorities did not name the impacted facility. Aramco, the kingdom’s oil giant, does have a refinery just southeast of Riyadh. That refinery produces gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other products for consumption around the kingdom’s capital.

The Houthis have stepped up attacks into Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, in recent weeks.

“Our armed forces carried out at dawn today an operation … with six drones which targeted the Aramco company in the capital of the Saudi enemy, Riyadh,” said Yahya Sarea, a Houthi military spokesman, without describing the targets he said were hit.

Sarea said operations against Saudi Arabia will continue and escalate as long as Saudi “aggression” against Yemen continues. He also warned “foreign companies and citizens” to avoid military sites and key infrastructure..-Al Jazeera.